President's Updates

March/April 2024

President Wubah

Once again, March Madness is upon us, and as we prepare for the final month of the academic year, the semester is moving at light speed. Unfortunately, our weather in Central Pennsylvania often changes at a similar rapid pace. Walking the campus daily, I remain uncertain if the winter chill is roaring back or the warm spring air has finally arrived. For most of this week, we expect rain showers, and I look forward to seeing beautiful flowers in May, especially for commencement.

March was a typical whirlwind of activity, and our campus calendar was packed with exciting events and activities. Our faculty and staff ensured the month of March covered a wide array of disciplinary interests by hosting events such as the 17th Annual Science Olympiad, the 11th Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, the Engage for Change Community Forum, the 34th annual Anna Funk Lockey Lecture in Education, and the 39th Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide. 

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Spring Job and Internship Fair in 'Ville Courts and was very impressed with our students' preparation and professionalism. Nearly 400 students participated as they met and spoke to about 150 employers about internship and full-time employment opportunities. Opportunities were abundant in almost every industry sector, including companies across the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. It was also wonderful to greet Millersville alums representing their companies at their alma mater.

On the horizon is one of my favorite spring events, Made in Millersville. This year's Made in Millersville Conference marks its 10th Anniversary and will take place on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in the Student Memorial Center. The event will again feature a combination of live and virtual presentations. With our EPPIIC values of exploration and professionalism on full display, I look forward to visiting with our students and learning more about their research and creative projects. I encourage all members of our campus community to join me in celebrating the accomplishments of our students.

Our EPPIIC values serve as a cornerstone of our campus community and function as our guiding principles. I am pleased to announce Millersville University's updated EPPIIC values framework, which includes revised definitions and a new set of institutional learning outcomes. The institutional learning outcomes will allow our faculty and staff to unify how they support, measure and assess student learning. I appreciate the collaborative work of Dr. Rachel Finley-Bowman and her committee members, Drs. Bertha DeJesus, Scott Helfrich and Erin Moss, and J. Whitlow. This team participated in a design-thinking institute to better define the Millersville experience. The members worked diligently this past year to engage our campus community in a productive dialogue about our core values. I am pleased to share the outcome of their work.

Nominations for the EPPIIC Value Award, which recognizes outstanding University employees, are being accepted through April 24. Nominations are available here.

In this issue of my monthly updates, you will learn more about our continuing efforts to promote sustainability on campus. You can also read about a nationally recognized music faculty member who was inducted into one of the leading music educators' Hall of Fame and our campus efforts to recognize the many outstanding K-12 students from across the region. Finally, the happenings in club sports and how to participate in the 2nd annual 21-day DEI campus challenge are highlighted in this issue.   

Grant to Enhance Student Engagement in Sustainable Agriculture

Millersville University successfully applied for and received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, amounting to $7,499. The grant aims to foster youth participation and interest in sustainable agriculture. Notably, out of 164 applicants, only 47 grants were awarded, making this achievement even more significant for Millersville University.

“Receiving this grant is important because it allows us to help expand knowledge about sustainable agriculture systems, hydroponics and aquaponics, specifically, teaching students in grades 5-12 that otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn about it in a hands-on, experiential way,” says Technology & Engineering Education student and competition facilitator, Thomas Kuhns, a junior at Millersville University.

The grant funds will be used to launch the innovative "Farm in the Classroom" competition. Students are challenged to devise design plans for hydroponics or aquaponics systems, staying within specified budgets. This competition aligns with Governor Josh Shapiro's newly unveiled $10.3 million initiative for Agriculture and Innovation funds.

Level 1 student groups (grades 5-9) and Level 2 student groups (grades 9-12) will both design hydroponics systems within a $1,500 budget. Additionally, there's a third aquaponics division for student groups in grades 5-12, with a maximum budget of $2,000. Submissions will be assessed by a panel of judges, including members of the Technology & Engineering Education Collegiate Association at Millersville University.

Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, purifying the water. Hydroponics is the technique of growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil.

Each division's winning team will receive the necessary funds to bring their design plans to life, and they'll be invited to Millersville University on April 12. During their visit, students will have the unique opportunity to meet with Paul Nickerson, vice president of applied sciences at INTAG, a renowned industry leader in aquaponics. The day's agenda includes tours of Millersville University's Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology and Biology Departments. Visitors will also see hydroponics and aquaponics facilities in these areas. The culmination of the visit will be a question-and-answer session with competition leaders and INTAG professionals.

Millersville Receives Prestigious International Award

The University of Indonesia recently hosted the ceremony for the 13th Annual Universitas Indonesia GreenMetric World University Rankings Results and Awards. This esteemed accolade was given to 1,183 universities across 84 countries. Millersville University secured a place on this prestigious list, standing out as one of only 10 institutions from the United States to receive this recognition and, notably, the only representative from Pennsylvania.

“Millersville University is committed to being sustainable. With that, we need to consistently be working on expanding our efforts and seeing how we compare to other institutions of higher education both domestically and internationally,” says Kaitlynn Hamaty, sustainability manager at Millersville University.

Established in 2010, UI GreenMetric is an initiative developed by the University of Indonesia. It is an online survey that assesses the existing conditions and policies pertaining to Green Campus and Sustainability in universities worldwide, seeking to garner the attention of university leaders and stakeholders. The initiative addresses global climate change, promotes energy and water conservation, advocates for waste recycling and fosters green transportation practices.

“Sustainability is often seen as purely environmental health and recycling. However, the United Nations has developed and created 17 Sustainable Development Goals to focus on all aspects of life and understand there must be a balance between social, economic and environmental growth and sustainability,” says Hamaty.  All of these initiatives align with the MU Global Goals

The UI GreenMetric ranking evaluates universities based on six categories: Setting & Infrastructure, Energy & Climate Change, Waste, Water, Transportation and Education & Research. Millersville University demonstrated varying levels of achievement across these categories, presenting an opportunity for targeted enhancements in specific areas while maintaining strengths in others. Millersville received maximum points in specific individual rankings within the six categories. These achievements encompass the extent of forested areas on campus, the ratio of open space area relative to the campus population, safety and security facilities, implementation of smart building programs, consumption of treated water, adherence to pedestrian policies on campus and the presence of cultural activities.

“We are excited to have succeeded in these specified areas and look forward to improving on others in the future,” says Hamaty.

MU Professor Inducted into Hall of Fame

From playing piano as a child to teaching it at Millersville University, Dr. Xun Pan's passion and talent for the instrument earned him a spot in the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame. On October 5, 2023, Pan, associate professor of keyboard studies at MU, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in New York City at the historic Steinway Factory.

The Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame supports music education, specifically piano educators, and recognizes outstanding commitment to piano instruction. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Pan needed to be nominated by a peer. Jacobs Music of Philadelphia nominated Pan, recognizing him for his passion for teaching piano to future generations.

Pan talked about how it felt to be inducted into such a prestigious organization, “It is an honor to be listed with the most influenced piano professors like John Perry, Gary Graffman and Meng-Chieh Liu. It was also an encouragement for my passion.” 

Pan has won various international awards and competitions on top of having solo performances at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Beijing National Center for Performing Arts. He has also performed in cities like Moscow, Santiago, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, London and Budapest.

Not only does Pan teach at MU, but he is also a visiting professor at various universities and conservatories in China. Additionally, Pan taught master classes at Boston University, Dartmouth College and the University of West Florida.

Pan continues to show his commitment to the music education world as he is one of the founders of the Lancaster International Piano Festival. This active nonprofit organization provides "top-notch education and performances while creating a warm and inclusive community," according to the organization. Their latest festival was held last summer at Franklin and Marshall College.

Conferences and Competitions at the ‘Ville

Millersville University is no stranger to hosting a wide variety of conferences, competitions and other groups on campus. This past month, the University was honored to host hundreds of high school students for the 49th Annual High School Mathematics Contest and over 100 regional school counselors for the semi-annual Professional School Counselors Conference. Both the students and counselors proved to be important contingents for the University.

The High School Mathematics Contest welcomed 36 teams of students, grades 9-12, on February 28. The competition has grown since last year, reaching schools within a 100-mile radius and increasing the number of registered teams. The students competed in two contests: the first part of the morning focused on an individual short answer contest, recognizing the top five scorers. For the second part, the students worked together in their teams to complete five problems in 60 minutes, with the five top-scoring teams recognized afterward.

While the contest provided a way for local students to showcase their mathematical abilities at the precalculus level, it also allowed Millersville University to showcase the Department of Mathematics and the College of Science and Technology. Students and their chaperones could stay for an optional STEM tabling session, where they were provided information about the University and met with faculty members from each STEM department.

The Professional School Counselors Conference was held on February 29, titled "Sustaining, Growing and Strengthening the School Counseling Profession." Over 100 school counselors from around the region visited the University to participate in a full day of presentations, breakout sessions and panel discussions to discuss fostering growth in the school counseling profession.

Some of the topics the counselors discussed include alleviating student anxiety, establishing rapport with troubled students, building collaborative communities between school counselors, and more. Many of the sessions were focused on practical solutions and strategies to strengthen current counseling practices.

These events were excellent opportunities to showcase the University’s campus and its many resources, hopefully inspiring a new generation of future Marauders.


Club Sports Galore

Club Sports have always been an important part of a healthy, active lifestyle for Millersville University students. I often hear our alums say they still get together with their former teammates from Club Sports.

The spring is a busy time for Club Sports, with many teams competing. In addition, several of our teams are coming off fantastic seasons.

MOOSE Ultimate Frisbee competed in the High Tide Ultimate Tournament during March. The team went 6-2 with a point differential of +23. When not including the win by default on day 2, our ultimate frisbee team scored 79 points in seven games, which makes an average of 11.2 points. It was the team’s first outing since COVID-19, and they were up against D1 schools. MOOSE Ultimate will hold a “Hat Competition” on March 23 at Pucillo, which is open to everyone. People will be teamed up randomly.

The D2 Ice Hockey Club clinched their division in the Colonial States College Hockey Conference and had the #1 seed in the playoffs – the first time since 2015. Unfortunately, they lost against UPENN in the CSCHC championship game.

Our women’s Club Soccer received a bid to Nationals. It was the first time in the club’s history to make it that far.

Allison Yarrow, the director of Campus Recreation, says it takes a village to keep Club Sports going. “One department I want to send a shout-out to is MU Health Services. They support us throughout the school year by helping our students mentally and physically stay in the game.”

Later this month, MU Dance travels to the College Classic National Championship in Orlando, Florida. They will be performing multiple routines. The events will be live-streamed at

The Men’s Rugby Club is hosting up to 8 teams in a large tournament at Brooks Field on April 6.

And, in season right now are baseball, softball, men's lacrosse, men's and women's rugby, and men's and women's volleyball. In addition, fencing and mixed martial arts are happening right now. MMA has eight open weekly classes for interested students to check out in the SMC Rec Center.

More on Club Sports is available here.

Becoming More Inclusive with the 21-Day DEI Challenge

Learning how power, privilege, supremacy, racism and many other forms of oppression interact is an important task in becoming a more inclusive individual and overall community. That is why MU is holding the 2nd annual 21-day DEI Challenge.

The 21-day DEI Challenge allows students, faculty and staff to complete certain actions, including reading a book, listening to a podcast episode or engaging in diverse settings to help further your understanding of inclusivity and the forms of oppression.

Carlos Wiley, chief diversity and inclusion officer at MU, explains the importance of this challenge. “While we challenge ourselves to learn and grow as inclusive excellent individuals, it’s imperative for us not to leave our colleagues or classmates of marginalized identities to face or try to solve the problem of oppression alone.”

“We can work together in unity to stand against racism, sexism, ableism and other forms of oppression by taking this challenge as a group with friends and family, units, departments, colleges or organization-wide,” Wiley says.

The challenge does not have to be done in 21 consecutive days, but it does have to be completed before the celebratory dinner, where participants will be recognized for their work. Anyone who wants to participate in the challenge can download the required sheet and send it to Wiley to receive a certificate and invitation to the dinner.

Wiley explains that he enjoys watching the MU community become more inclusive through this challenge. “The best part of the challenge is that people can learn to create effective social justice habits to become better allies to those from marginalized communities.”

Interested in the challenge? Click here to learn more: